Monthly Archives: May 2021

There’s Not Always A Word For It

  A letter reaches me from reader John Healey in South Australia who has twigged one of the longest-running games I’ve been playing in my novels. My love of esoteric language has occasionally encouraged me to add rare words, and to sometimes make them up. I figured that if Billy Shakespeare could invent over 1,700 […]

In The Earth: The Answer Lies In The Soil

Following on from the last column about cerebral scares, here’s something new in the folk horror genre to catch. Ben Wheatley is incapable of making a dull film but he comes dangerously close to self-parody with ‘In The Earth’, which will either kill off the fashionable folk-horror cycle for a while or encourage a further […]

The Scared Brain: Favourite Cerebral Scares

Considering I’ve written some 300 short stories in the genre of the fantastic, I feel that stories in which one’s inner doubts and fears are made irrefutably solid is the bravest choice to make aesthetically. Psychological stories achieve a unique level of catharsis but shocking images must be yoked within the service of powerful ideas. The […]

Uncultured 2: What’s On My Cult Radar

  ‘The Passenger’ by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz There’s a big world of stories out there, and I’m drawn to expansive world imprints like Pushkin Press. I discovered the collected novels of Stefan Zweig at Pushkin, along with unfamiliar story collections from Gogol and Chekhov. Bringing together my twin obsessions, they also publish ‘Walter Presents’ novels […]

Press Clippings From Hell No.1

An odd article in the New York Times grabs my attention today. A man who runs an online spectacles company has been threatening to rape and murder customers who complain about the poor quality of his sunglasses. The 6′ 5″ Ukranian admits he may have a bad attitude. An older clipping is sent by a […]

The Cons Of Prose

Things like this can make you paranoid.  Let’s be clear; books are published to make money. I’m lucky to have Transworld behind me, a company with integrity and admirable loyalty to their authors. Not everyone is quite so traditional in their outlook. I was shocked when the ‘sock puppet’ scandal broke (authors leaving nasty reviews […]